Court Refuses To Free Akingbola Of N47bn Theft Charges
A Lagos High Court in Ikeja on Friday dismissed an application by a former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Erastus Akingbola, seeking to quash the charges of stealing N47bn preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The EFCC is prosecuting Akingbola along with his business associate, Mr. Bayo Dada. Both were accused of defrauding the bank (now Access Bank Plc) and stealing its money in 2009 while Akingbola was its Managing Director.
In a ruling, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo dismissed the two separate applications filed by Akingbola and Dada, seeking to quash the 22 counts preferred against them for lack of jurisdiction.
“I find no merit in the applications and they are accordingly dismissed,” the judge ruled.
Akingbola’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had argued that the state High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the charges because they were capital market and banking related.
Like Olanipekun, Dada’s counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), had also maintained that only the Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction on the charges.
“This matter is advance fee fraud in form but capital market in substance,” Osipitan had said.
But the judge dismissed the lawyers’ contentions.
“Clearly, none of the charges are related to banking transactions. These are charges of stealing, receiving stolen property and advance fee fraud,” the judge held